Sport-by-sport breakdown of returning spring athletes

The NCAA approved an extra year of eligibility for all spring sport athletes after seasons were canceled due to the coronavirus.

Pitcher Amber Fiser and catcher Emma Burns celebrate striking the Bison out on Friday, May 17, 2019 at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium in Minneapolis. The Gophers beat North Dakota State University 3-0.

Courtney Deutz

Pitcher Amber Fiser and catcher Emma Burns celebrate striking the Bison out on Friday, May 17, 2019 at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium in Minneapolis. The Gophers beat North Dakota State University 3-0.

Paul Hodowanic

On March 30, the NCAA Division I Council approved a resolution in response to athletics seasons being canceled due to the coronavirus, which grants every spring sport athlete an extra year of eligibility. The rule requires both the University and individual students to opt-in to the extra year of eligibility. 

Of the University of Minnesota’s 47 spring-sport seniors, 13 have committed to returning, four have announced they are leaving and the final 30 are either undecided or unknown at this time. 

Below is a breakdown of each individual sport except for women’s golf, which has no seniors on its roster. 

Softball

Returning (5) – Amber Fiser, MaKenna Partain, Katelyn Kemmetmueller, Carlie Brandt, Brooke Vander Heide

Leaving (1) – Kaylen Krueger

Softball returns nearly all of its senior class, putting itself in a very strong position for the 2021 season. Fiser finished the 2020 season with a 2.17 ERA and will return as the ace of the pitching staff. Partain will anchor the infield for another season, after batting .349 with four home runs and 19 RBIs last season. Kemmettmueller, Brandt and Vander Heide also figure to be featured heavily next year. All three started in every game last season. 

Baseball

Undecided (1) – Jordan Kozicky 

With only one senior on the team, the baseball roster will remain largely unaffected by the resolution. However, the re-addition of Kozicky would give the Gophers added depth and leadership to its team. Kozicky is a career .269 hitter and is 33 hits away from reaching 200 for his career. He is expected to return. 

Men’s Golf 

Returning (1) – Thomas Longbella

Unknown (1) – Noah Rasinski

The return of Longbella will help elevate an already rising men’s golf program. Longbella finished third on the team in stroke average (71.75) this season, behind only Angus Flanagan and Connor Glynn, both of whom earned All-Big Ten honors. Longbella has three career top-10 finishes and had two top-20 finishes this season. 

Men’s Tennis 

Leaving (2) – Stefan Milicevic (transfer), Eli Ogilvy (graduating)

The departure of both Milicevic and Ogilvy will be a tough pill to swallow for the men’s tennis team. Milicevic anchored Minnesota’s singles lineup as the No. 1 player this season, finishing with a 14-8 record overall. He has been among Minnesota’s top three singles players since he arrived as a freshman in 2016. Milicevic is transferring to Miami as a graduate transfer for his fifth and final season. Ogilvy also spent time in Minnesota’s singles rotation, playing mostly at the No. 4 and 5 spots, finishing with a 12-5 overall record. 

Women’s Tennis 

Returning (1) – Tina Kreinis

Leaving (1) –  Cammy Frei

Unknown (1) – Tiffany Huber

Kreinis’ return will be a helpful boost for the Gophers, as the senior spent much of the 2019-20 season between the No. 1 and 2 singles spot. She also had a winning record as part of the Gophers No. 1 doubles team, playing with both Frei and Huber throughout the season. However, she may be looking for a new partner next year as Frei will not return and Huber’s return remains up in the air. 

Men’s Track and Field 

Returning (2) – Elliott Davis, Teddy Frid

Unknown (13) – Matthew Baker, Michael Burke, Evan Ferlic, Sammie Houston, Connor Olson, Ben Ose, Connor Rousemiller, Shane Streich, Jonathan Tharaldsen, Josh Tracy, John Uchytil, Jonathan Webb, Jackson Wellenstein

In Davis and Frid, the Gophers return two gifted and decorated athletes. Davis is an All-American sprinter, specializing in the 400-meter run. While the 2020 outdoor season was canceled, Davis finished with nine top-10’s and two wins in the 400-meter in 2019. He finished in eighth place in the event at the 2019 Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Frid is a team captain and was looking to compete in the Gophers outdoor season for the first time since 2018, after redshirting during the outdoor season last year. 

Women’s Track and Field

Unknown (9) – Ayesha Champagnie, Nayoka Clunis, Monique Felix, Erin Huls, Lexi Kiefer, Shay Nielsen, Kelsey Sather, Rachel Schow, Candesha Scott

Rowing 

Returning (4) – Kat Hetico, Lauren Burrows-Cheng, Erika Guenther, Sarah Von der Goltz

Unknown (5) – Maura Maguire, AnnMarie McNamara, Allie Schmidt, Natalie Stratton, Sophia Thuente